The new Hurricane Deck bridge is all but done and three months ahead of schedule after getting underway in May 2012. Now, the community is being invited to celebrate the historic occasion with the Missouri Department of Transportation.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned at the new Highway 5 bridge at the 35 mile marker of the Osage Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday, Sept. 7. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., but the bridge will be open for the public to walk on and view beginning at 8:30.
MoDOT officials and local dignitaries will be on hand for the ceremony that will include a water cannon salute, pyrotechnics, ceremonial hurricane glasses and a parade of classic cars, according to MoDOT Engineer Bob Lynch.
The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District water boat will provide a water cannon salute and Matt Sutcliffe with Premier Pyrotechnics and Bear Bottom Resort will provide a 30 second firework display during the ribbon cutting.
The parade of vintage vehicles will be in conjunction with the annual Fall Follies car show being held Saturday by the Laurie-Sunrise Beach Rotary Club. Volunteers from the show will leave the Laurie Fairgrounds around 10 a.m. to parade down Highway 5 and arrive during the ribbon cutting. The parade will then go south across the new bridge. Once across, the cars will come back north on the old bridge.
In celebration of the completion of the project, the American Bridge Company is supplying around 200 commemorative hurricane-style glasses that will be used to toast the new bridge.
The hurricane glasses are in keeping with the traditional name of the bridge which comes from the old landmark tie slide called Hurricane Deck nearby.
The old Hurricane Deck Bridge was built in 1936 and has served the area for 77 years.
The old bridge had a major rehab in 1985 and a minor deck rehab in 2006. Because of its outdated design, poor superstructure (truss and beams) condition and narrow width, the historic bridge was deemed structurally deficient in 2010 though safe to use until a new crossing could be completed.
An historical display will be set up at the ribbon cutting ceremony with information and old pictures of the current bridge and details about the new one. The historic plaque marking the opening of the old bridge will be presented to the Camden County Historical Society as well.
The new bridge will be the last major crossing to be built in the area for some time. In the last couple of decades, MoDOT has replaced the bridge on Highway 54 across the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake and bridges across the Niangua on Highways 54 and 5. They also worked in a local partnership to build the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge on Route 242 and MM. MoDOT has invested well over $100 million in bridges in the lake area since the 1990s, according to Lynch.
Page 2 of 2 - The new bridge will likely last another 70-plus years, he said.
While the ribbon cutting ceremony is Sept. 7, the new bridge will not open to public traffic until Sept. 9 or 10 depending on weather as the builder, the American Bridge Company, finishes the section of roadway connecting the new crossing to the existing highway.
Demolition of the old bridge will begin right away, according to Lynch, and the majority of the work should be done before the end of the year.
After the decking and part of the superstructure is removed, the new bridge will be temporarily closed while the rest of the old bridge is imploded.
It has been estimated that it could take up to four months to take down the old bridge depending on weather and lake levels. Once the old bridge is closed and traffic rerouted on the new alignment, workers will strip the deck down to the trusses. With the deck gone and trusses slimmed down, the company will load and shoot the old bridge with explosives, then pick the pieces out of the lake with cranes.